Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine whether an outsourced recruitment service can provide a satisfactory organisational solution from the perspective of its line-managers. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on a single, large organisation involving dissemination of an on-line survey targeting line-managers with a recent record of hiring new employees. Using quantitative analysis including correlation, multiple regression and binary logistic regression, assessment is made regarding manager perception, including experience as customers, overall rating of the recruiter and a willingness to recommend the service. Findings – Aspects of standard service, assessed in terms of operations and recruiter provision, are perceived as being at appropriately high levels, while the arguably more demanding external aspects of the recruitment process are perceived to be less successful. Line-manager satisfaction as customers and satisfaction with the recruiter are explained by various experiences of both service and recruiter, while willingness to recommend is explained in terms of customer satisfaction, satisfaction with the recruiter and recognition that the service provides added value. Personal line-manager experiences, perceived realisation of organisational values or achieving preferred line-manager recruitment objectives play no significant part in these explanations. Research limitations/implications – The research considered an individual organisation, with participating managers being solely from within. Further research could see the assessment being extended to other organisations perhaps at different points of maturity in their relationships with an external recruitment partner, as well as revisiting the participating organisation at a later point in time to assess potential changes in the relationships assessed. Practical implications – To enhance line-manager satisfaction with service and with the recruiter, aspects of process and recruiter contribution both play a role, while these satisfaction indicators, in tandem with an appreciation of added value will prompt a line-manager to ultimately recommend such a service. Originality/value – This centres on the assessment of an outsourced recruitment service from the particular perspective of its hiring line-managers, through evaluation of service satisfaction and willingness to recommend.